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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
March 24, 2019, 01:41:06 am
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New from N California

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Author Topic: New from N California  (Read 595 times)
guest3478
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« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2016, 08:48:25 am »

you can probably make a template with a 6x6 square drawing a line from corner to corner and make a hole in the center big enough to put a pencil or sharpie tip through and make a center mark.

your slabochon creation is interesting.
I bet you could make a larger one to hold planter pots also. cool idea!

That ebay & etsy and buying slabs gets expensive. I sold one of my rifles and bought a combination saw unit to make my own litle slabs, but that wasnt good enough i had to sell other things and get a 20 inch saw lol
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Lex
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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2016, 10:37:46 am »

Welcome from the Netherlands.

Lex
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Debbie K
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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2016, 08:21:48 am »

Steve:

If you're tired of the expense of the diamond drill bits, you could try either copper or brass tubing with diamond grit and oil.

Here's what I do: I saw a piece of tubing to a convenient length and on one end I score the end by cutting across it 2 to 3 times with the saw. I also saw a piece of rod that fits inside the tubing about 1/2" shorter than the tubing. This is to keep the tubing from collapsing when you tighten it up in the drill jaws. If I wasn't so lazy I'd solder this piece of rod inside the tube at the top away from the scored end, but if it's slipping too much you can use a little super glue to hold it where it should be.

Since you have a drill press, insert the tubing with the scored end pointing down. I start a divot in the rock with a ball bur so it will hold a little oil and diamond grit and I start drilling. I use a toothpick to move the grit and oil back into the hole occasionally and also check the end of the tubing as the "teeth" will wear down. When they do, I re-score them. I  also will add oil and grit occasionally as the grit breaks down. It doesn't take much oil or diamond.

I read about this many years ago, but thought it wouldn't work that well so I used commercial bits for years. I finally had a piece of rock I was trying to drill that was too thick to drill with commercial bits and gave this a try and was amazed how well it worked. Most hobby shops and some hardware stores carry the copper or brass tubing and rod, I think it's made by K&B. You can make a dozens of these for the cost of a few of the commercial ones. If I were smart, I'd make several at once so it wouldn't slow me down when they need to be re-scored.

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP! If you are using a long piece of tubing make sure to leave the bit in the rock when you turn the drill off or on. The tubing has a tendency to collapse without the support of the rock and will bend.

Debbie K
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